The best time to buy a very nice car

 

Tips on when to buy a car to get the best quality

 

People are always looking for a way to game the system and save money on major purchases. Much of this thinking revolves around zeroing in on the best time to buy a particular item. Need a new TV? Shop on Black Friday or around the Super Bowl. Flying somewhere? Buy your plane ticket on a Tuesday and fly out on a Wednesday.

It’s no different for cars.if you want to question: “When are the best time to buy a car and you will be sure and certain answers?” and you’ll get answers ranging from the end of the month to “wait until the new models come out.” There are as many theories on this topic as there are days in the year. And, oddly enough, there is a grain of truth in many of them.

When is that the Best Time to shop for an automotive

End of the model year

End of the calendar year

End of month

End of the car’s design cycle

End of the car’s life cycle

Memorial Day

Fourth of July

Labor Day

Black Friday

Presidents Day

November

December

October

Monday

Early in the week

Simply put, here’s our advice: The best time to buy a car is when you need it and feel ready to buy, regardless of the time of year. Car buying can be stressful, and it can take more than a month to go from deciding what to buy to closing the deal. Why add to that pressure by trying to squeeze your shopping into the last day of the month or a holiday weekend when everyone has the same idea?

But if you’re a shopper who wants to home in on the very best time to buy, let’s look at your options.

Best Time of the Year to shop for an automotive

End of the Month

When the month is coming to an end, dealers might be a few cards short of a sales quota that would win them a big bonus. Salespeople will have more motivation to make a deal with a buyer and might deeply discount cars, making up any money lost with the bonus. This is the time when you shouldn’t sleep on the car deal. Keep in mind, however, that if the sales team met its quota earlier that month, salespeople may not be as motivated to give you the screaming deal you might be expecting. This is difficult to know ahead of time, but if you’re negotiating and the dealer offers you a super-low price, take a moment to ask your salesperson why the dealer is willing to potentially lose money on this sale. If the reason makes sense to you, and the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, it could be a sign the dealer is trying to make a sales goal.

If you’re feeling nervous about buying in a short end-of-month timeframe, test-drive the car in which you’re interested earlier in the month and close the deal as the end of the month approaches. Also, many new-car incentive offers are good for a few days after the month ends, which gives you a bit of a buffer.

End of the Calendar Year

If your primary objective is to buy or lease a new car at the best price possible, Edmunds data indicates that December’s year-end sales events will give you a “perfect storm” of savings.

You should look for a vehicle from the outgoing model year that has generous incentives. According to Edmunds data, December has the year’s highest discount off MSRP (6.1 percent on average) and the highest incentives. In recent years, it also has had the largest inventories, with more vehicles from the outgoing model year on dealer lots. Automakers and dealerships want to close the year with strong sales. They also want to get rid of the prior model-year cars that are taking up space, so they’re motivated.

Each manufacturer handles the “sell-down” differently, so some car dealerships will have a better selection of outgoing year vehicles late in the year, while the pickings may be slim at others. Be sure to check Edmunds’ Incentives & Rebates for customer cash rebates, low-interest incentives, and lease specials.

Best Month to Buy a Car

While the data shows that December is the best time of the year to buy, there are also a few other viable months. In other words, if you need a car in January, there’s no need to wait 11 months to get a good deal.

The discounts on new cars typically follow a trend that coincides with the introduction of new models. In general, the more new cars there are coexisting with old models, the better the savings.

Least Discounted Months

January

February

March

April

Better Discounted Months

May

June

July

August

September

Most Discounted Months

October

November

December

January through April are generally slow-selling months and have the smallest discounts off MSRP. The month with the smallest amount of MSRP is February, with an average discount of 5.7 percent. Things get better in the summer months: The introduction of new cars drives down prices on outgoing models. And finally, the discounts improve the most the closer you get to the end of the year.

If you need a car in October and want to get the best deal, you might want to wait until December, even though you’ll run the risk of having fewer cars to choose from. This will give you additional time to do more research on the right car for you. You’ll also be able to get more price quotes.

Best Day to Buy a Car

Early in the Week: This tip is more about the level of attention you can expect from a salesperson than about getting a killer deal. Weekends are typically the busiest time at a dealership. The salesperson might be juggling multiple customers, and the finance office is likely to be a bottleneck. If you show up on a Monday or Tuesday, however, there will be less foot traffic. You can ask plenty of questions and the transaction should take far less time. In some parts of the country, however, dealerships are closed on Sundays. And as a result, Monday is a pretty busy day of the week. If that’s the case for you, go on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Best Times to Buy a Car

End of the model year

All the new model-year cars used to debut in the fall, making the end of summer a good time to shop for leftovers. These days, however, there is no unified new model-year season. For example, we see cars from the upcoming model year debuting as early as March of the current calendar year. Nevertheless, Edmunds data indicates that the end of the summer still is a sweet spot for outgoing model-year vehicles.

“August and September are when we generally see automakers make the most decided transition into the new models,” said Edmunds senior analyst Jeremy Acevedo. “These summer months correspond with a bump in incentives, particularly low APR financing on the outgoing model year vehicles.”

Something to note: It’s worth looking at the incoming model-year cars to see what features have changed and to get a feel for pricing. It’s rare, but there have been instances when a car from the incoming model year has had better incentives than a car from the outgoing model year, particularly if you’re looking to lease.

End of the Car’s Design Cycle (before a redesign)

This happens when the manufacturer is going to continue making a certain car model but is about to completely redesign it. You can see some serious savings on the outgoing design. True, you are buying a car without the latest styling or technology, but if you’re more bargain hunter than a trendsetter, this might not matter to you.

End of the Car’s Life Cycle (discontinued model)

Sometimes the manufacturer announces that it will stop making a car altogether. There’s potential in this situation for even bigger savings. You should know that the car will depreciate steeply if it’s being discontinued, but if you plan on keeping it for a while, it won’t affect you. It’s also worth looking into why the automaker pulled the plug on a given vehicle. Is it a matter of changing tastes, or was the car truly bad in terms of performance or reliability? In recent years, for example, SUVs have surged in popularity and Ford has since discontinued many of its sedans. Going further back, vehicles such as the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, never really found an audience and the Pontiac Aztek had a face only Walter White could love.

Best Holidays to Buy a Car

Three-Day Weekends

It’s hard to miss the inflatable eagles, gorillas and wacky waving tube men that dot car lots, to say nothing of ads that promise “rock-bottom” prices. Does a “Star-Spangled Sale-a-Bration” mean savings for you? It can, but be prepared for a busier-than-normal showroom. Ideally, you want to do your research and test-drive before the holiday and close the deal on the weekend. Or, better yet, sew up the deal on the first weekday after the weekend. Here’s a deeper dive into shopping on a holiday weekend. And here is a list of the three-day holiday weekends, along with a brief rating of each:

Presidents Day: February is the month with the smallest discounts off MSRP, so this is unlikely to be the best month to buy.

Memorial Day: This vacation kicks off the summer shopping for the season and maybe a solid time to induce a deal. It’s also when you will have the largest selection of outgoing models to choose from. Shop around now if you are specific a couple of bound color or possibility package.

Fourth of July: There ought to be a larger mixture of incoming and current-year vehicles at now. Worth taking a look at what’s on the lot if you’re unsure whether you want the car from the outgoing or the incoming year.

Labor Day: This is the sweet spot in terms of selection and competitive pricing. Not the absolute best of the year in terms of savings, however, you will have a lot of vehicles to decide on from than if you waited for the year-end deals.

Black Friday

It’s the biggest retail shopping day in the U.S. And people have been known to camp out hours for deals on big-screen TVs and other electronics. The same shopping fervor happens on car lots after Thanksgiving. In recent years, automakers and dealers have been offering more incentives, discounts and “doorbusters” as a means of capturing some of that retail excitement. Black Friday also signals the end of the model year, so you’ll see greater discounts on outgoing models.

If you want to shop on Black Friday, you’ll need to do some pre-Thanksgiving planning, such as getting a value on your trade-in, getting preapproved for an auto loan from your bank or credit union, and taking some test drives. Also, make sure you read the fine print on any Black Friday deal ads that seem too good to be true. If you’re willing to brave the crowds, here are more tips for car shopping on Black Friday.

Final Thoughts on When to Buy a Car

As we’ve noted, there are many opportunities throughout the year to get a great deal on a new car. It all comes down to your comfort with waiting, having less of a selection, and being willing to pass on the latest model. Ultimately, the best time to get a new car is when you need only after you have completed your research.

 

Figure your price on the car using Edmunds tools, and factor in any incentives and rebates. See if there are any Edmunds Special Offers on the car, which can save you time and the stress of negotiating. Watch for unexpected add-ons. Then make your deal. In the long run, this approach makes more sense than trying to predict the effects of weather, holidays, and the seasonality of your car purchase.

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